First, a Contact Sensor is made up of two parts. For the sake of this discussion I’m calling the larger part the “base” and the smaller narrow part the “magnet”.
As I was installing the contact sensors in my garage I noticed that the sensor isn’t picky about which magnet piece it’s paired with. In other words, if you separate the base part of the sensor from the magnet that makes it say open/closed, then move a different sensor’s magnet close to the base, it responds exactly the same way.
That got me thinking… in what situations could you use multiple bases with one magnet or multiple magnets with one base?
One thought experiment with a model train set:
- You have a model train that runs along the track in a big O.
- The magnet part of the sensor is attached to the train facing out on the right side.
- Along the track are model signs, buildings, etc with the base of the sensor attached.
- As the train runs along the track, the base and magnet line up so that it opens/closes each sensor as it passes.
- In IFTTT, you set up each sensor to do something different. As the train approaches the lumber mill, you play an audio file with appropriate sounds. As the train enters the tunnel, you turn off the room lights with HUE and trigger the smart switch to turn on the city lights.
- BONUS: As the train approaches the town, it triggers the motion sensor, which kills power to the train, bringing it to a halt. After the motion sensor clears, play an “all aboard!” audio clip, and restore power to the train.
I was also thinking this could somehow play into an IoT Rube Goldberg machine. Or some sort of assembly process to track the status of something being made. (Like the train, as the magnet moves it triggers the next base part of the contact sensor.) Or some crazy musical instrument where you have an array of contact sensors set up, and as you move a magnet over them, it connects to IFTTT and plays sounds.
I don’t know if any of these ideas are really practical or worth trying in real life, but it’s fun to consider the possibilities! What ideas do you have?